Labor Day weekend Lee and I headed up to a city we haven’t really explored since living in Greenville. Charlotte, NC is quickly becoming a creative hub in the Southeast, so we figured it was about time to check it out. Because I’m a girl that likes to have a plan when going to new places I did some research to see what was up with the local scene.
As it is when you go to a new place for the first time, you can do all of the research in the world and still not truly know what to expect. That was a little bit the case here. Using Instagram and Pinterest geotags and a couple bloggers as resources I put together a list of things to do, which we partly used and partially just had to go on whims to explore various parts of the city.
So a couple of tips and recommendations…
SHOP // 7th Street Market.
Promo of this place is great! Awesome in fact. What they don’t tell you is that if you’re not in the mood for food (or coffee) come back around dinner or lunch. I was under the impression this was a little larger, a little more shopping that just food. It was a really cool place – large brick building right on the train stop with delicious smelling vendors and booths selling everything from fresh pasta to crepes. Unfortunately we got there after lunch so we grabbed a chai latte from Not Just Coffee and people watched for a little bit.
Verdict: Definitely recommend this place, just go when you’re hungry!
SHOP // Atherton Mill
A lovely up-cycled mill that is now home to the sweetest little Anthropologie and a handful of other unique, local shops is a must-visit on your trip around Charlotte. While it’s not easy to walk to if you’re uptown, a train stop is just feet away from the entrance of the Anthropologie! Parking is easy and free though if you’re just coming into the city!
PLAY // Google Fiber and Green Space
Right across the street from the 7th Street Market, the Google Fiber building sits in a lovely urban green space, surrounded by free (weekend) street parking. I didn’t really know what the purpose of the building is – I still don’t – but it was a really neat educational space letting people know about Google fiber and has some really neat public work spaces for those who aren’t keen on sitting in Starbucks for free wi-fi.
The park/ green space connected to the building has a great view of the Charlotte skyline and is where we ended taking these photos!
EAT // Bakersfield Tacos
Driving back from the southern fringe of Charlotte, we spotted a local, hoping taco place, Bakersfield. Being the epic taco lovers that we are, Lee and I dropped in and both ordered a taco salad and chips and queso. Highly recommended!
EAT // Not Just Coffee
Located within 7th street market is the coffee shop, Not Just Coffee. They have a few other locations around the city, but after deciding it was indeed time for a drink, we sat down around the counter where they make the drinks and watched the baristas work their magic. We both went for the marsala chai latte (iced because it was oh so hot out) and spent a good 30 minutes enjoy the drink and the activity around us.
Tip: While I definitely recommend Not Just Coffee, I do not recommend parking in the garage next to the market. If it’s a weekend try to find free street parking or park outside the city and buy a train pass in. Garage parking is extraordinarily expensive and not worth the money.
Overall Charlotte has a mid-sized city vibe with breakout communities that we’re more used to living in Greenville. It’s not a difficult city to get around in, but it definitely helps to know where you’re going and what you want to do or see.